I made it in TechShop. You'll need to take the MTL103: Basic Metal Shop SBU and MTL201: Sheet Metal - Organic Shapes SBU classes in order to be qualified to use the tools in the TechShop for this piece. The best thing about TechShop: air conditioning!
Tools I used:
- Electric drill
- Cobalt or titanium drill bit (size 9/64)
- Beverly shear (or you can use a hand shear)
- Electric grinder or sander
- Electric slip roll (or you can use brute force over your knee)
- Armoring swage (or you can use a leather sand bag)
- Plastic mallet
- Measuring tape
Materials I used:
- 0.06" thick brass sheet metal (type 260), cut from about 2.5 feet by 6 inch section. (However, you can use mild steel, stainless steel, or aluminum instead)
- 0.03" thick stainless steel sheet metal (type 304) about 3" by 3" (However, you can use brass, mild steel, or aluminum)
- (12) screws (#6-32)
- (12) wing nuts (#6-32)
- some card stock or manilla folders to cut out your template (about 2.5 feet by 6 inches)
Step 1: Notes on the Tools You Need
The Beverly shear is a huge time saver for cutting out the pieces from the sheet metal, but you can do it with a hand shear.
The electric slip roll is also a huge time saver and it's used for curling the pieces so they fit around your head, but you can do it by hammering them in a sandbag or just by bending them over your leg.
Step 2: Create the Template
Start by using the tape measure to measure the circumference around your head from your brow to the top of your ears and around the back of your head. If you're going to be using 1/2" padding in your finished helmet, you should add about 3" to the length of the brow piece (5" if you're going to use 3/4" padding). This is the brow of the frame.
Then use the tape measure to measure across the top of your head from the top of one ear to the top of the other ear. Add 3" if you're going to use 1/2" padding in the finished helmet, or 5" if 3/4" padding. This is the rib of the frame.
Finally, measure the top of your head from your brow to the back of the head, adding 3" or 5" for the padding and another 2" for the nose piece. This is the spine of the frame.
Now trace out a rectangle on your card stock or manilla folder 1" wide and the length of your head circumference (plus 3" or 5"), this will be your brow piece. Cut out another piece 1" wide for the length of the top of your head (plus 3" or 5").
You'll also need to trace a circle out about 3" in diameter. I used a mason jar lid to trace out the circle onto the card stock. This will be used for both domes of the frame.
Cut the three pieces out of the card stock.
Now tape all the pieces together and make sure they fit your head, including the padding you'll be using in your finished helmet. Cut the ribs off at the edges of the spine, so the rib will be in two pieces (one for the left side of your head and one for the right).
Step 3: Cut the Sheet Metal
Cut the sheet metal with the Beverly shears.
Grind down the edges of the pieces with the grinder or sander. You'll need to shape the piece to fit the trace, and remove any burrs from the edges so you don't cut yourself while working with them later (or wearing them on your head).
Step 4: Roll the Pieces
Keep tightening, one inch at a time for each round of passes, until the brow goes all the way around in a circle. At that tightness, the spine will be a half circle, and the ribs will be quarter circles. Towards the end, you'll need to pop the roller off to get the piece into the roller because the circle will be so tight it won't slide into the top of the roller anymore.
Step 5: Dish the Domes
Step 6: Drill the Pieces
Drill two holes at the ends of each rib, spine, and brow. Drill two holes at the center of the brow, right between your eyes. Drill two holes on each side of the brow where the ribs will go. Drill 4 holes in the bottom stainless steel dome, with one hole in each of the ribs and each side of the spine. The bottom dome holds the ribs and spine together. Drill one hole through the middle of the top dome down through the spine. The top dome covers the joinery of the ribs and spine.
Be sure to mark each piece for what side it's on (left, right, front, back, top, bottom) because the pieces will only fit one way now that they've been drilled.
Step 7: Assemble and Fit the Frame
The bottom dome holds the ribs and spine together and the top dome hides the joinery of the ribs and spine and holds the decorations of the finished helmets (like spikes, feathers, etc).
After bolted together, press sides of the frame into an oval to fit your head. Bend the nose piece up so it doesn't press on your nose.
You're done with the frame!
In later tutorials we'll cover how to add leather or steel plates, decorations, and permanent rivets.